I will admit it, I love mac and cheese. I can’t even look at pictures of it without thinking, “I need to make this right now.” There are so many delicious versions, and I have tried making tons of different kinds. They are all usually good, in their own way. Sometimes adding a little mustard spices things up, or adding a crusty bread crumb topping to give it a crunch…no matter what it is, I like it. When I saw a recipe from Martha Stewart for The Creamiest Mac and Cheese, I knew I had to try it; so I excitedly added it to my weekly menu plan. So excited, in fact, that I went grocery shopping that day, came home, and decided to make the Mac & Cheese two days earlier than I planned….it would be fine in the fridge, right?
I was a little hesitant to follow the directions to a T, because I have never tried cutting up sliced bread and putting it on top of mac & cheese…and to be honest, it seemed weird. But after reading all the positive reviews, I gave it a go, and I’m happy I did!
Much like when I made the Tomato Basil One Pot Wonder pasta from Martha Stewart I was skeptical, but once again she proved me wrong and delivered the goods!
This Mac and Cheese also reheats really well, which is good because this recipe yields a large amount. Perfect for a crowd…or one person who loves mac and cheese….
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for casserole dish
- 3 slices white bread crusts removed, chopped into 1/4- to l/2-inch pieces
- 2 and 3/4 cups milk
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons coarse salt plus more for water
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 and 1/4 cups about 9 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cups about 4 ounces grated Gruyère or 2/3 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni or other spiral noodle
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a large casserole dish; set aside. Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoons butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.
2. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well.
3. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
4. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time into the skillet with butter/flour mixture. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1.5 cups of the cheddar cheese, and 3/4 cup Gruyère (or 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano); Mix until all cheese is melted and smooth and set the cheese sauce aside.
6. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses and the breadcrumbs over the top.
7. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes (watch as this may take a little longer. you want the bread browned). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes and then serve.
Recipe can be doubled for a larger crowd
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